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Systematic review on noninvasive assessment of subclinical cardiovascular disease in obstructive sleep apnea: New kid on the block!

  • Author(s): Ali, SS
  • Oni, ET
  • Warraich, HJ
  • Blaha, MJ
  • Blumenthal, RS
  • Karim, A
  • Shaharyar, S
  • Jamal, O
  • Fialkow, J
  • Cury, R
  • Budoff, MJ
  • Agatston, AS
  • Nasir, K
  • et al.

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Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have a high burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) but a causal relationship between OSA and atherosclerotic CVD remains unclear. We systematically reviewed the literature analyzing the relationship. A review of the Medline database for studies noninvasively evaluating subclinical CVD in OSA was conducted. A total of fifty-two studies were included in this review.Across the studies the prevalence of atherosclerosis, as assessed by coronary artery calcification, carotid intima-media thickness, brachial artery flow-mediated dilation and pulse wave velocity was higher in patients with OSA and correlated with increasing severity and duration of OSA.This study shows OSA is an independent predictor of subclinical CVD as CVD is more likely to occur in patients with long standing and severe OSA. Further research is however necessary to identify specific OSA populations that would benefit from aggressive screening.

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